Friday, 26 February 2010 review of Rafayel's riverside restaurant, Banyan

Rafayel's Restaurant, Banyan on the Thames, reviewed on

"...Banyan’s staff [make] this a welcoming and relaxed place to eat (once we finally found it). Ene, Liina and Marko were everything good restaurant staff should be, but rarely are: charming, attentive without being pushy, eager to make recommendations and - most importantly - proud as punch of their new workplace.

"...they have good reason to be optimistic about this one’s future, because while Banyan’s sleek, modern décor and obligatory bird-of-paradise floral displays can be found in umpteen European city hotels, the views from its riverside terrace set it apart from that crowd.

"As soon as the sun comes out, the doors are flung open and the outside terrace fills up, this is sure to be transformed into a dining spot worth seeking out...

"Banyan also breaks the mould with its fusion menu. There are enough traditional favourites to avoid offending the hotel guests, several interesting twists, and Indian specialties that are particularly successful.

"Heck, I’d go back for the delicious tarka dahl alone, and, as a massive lentil fan, that’s saying something. Served with some of the biggest, meatiest lamb chops I have ever encountered, which had been expertly marinated in a special mix of spices, this was anything but bland and predictable food...

"Banyan’s wine list also covers a broad global selection. Here, once again, the staff were the stars and happily recommended several reasonably-priced options, including a Fortant de France Syrah rosé and a delicious South African Chenin Blanc, which pared well with our food choices...

"...Banyan on the Thames definitely has the potential to become an exception to the hotel restaurant rule."

To read the full article please click here

Hotel Chatter on Hotel Rafayel

Hotel Chatter's latest post on Hotel Rafayel:

Hotel Rafayel (And Its Cupcake Shop) Gets a Thumbs Up From TripAdvisor

"And the reviews are in. Hotel Rafayel on the Left Bank has been open a couple of months now, but it’s certainly making its mark on the London accommodation scene if TripAdvisor is anything to go by. It currently ranks 33 in London (out of 1071) and fifth for business hotels. Not bad for a bunch of eco-hippies, right?

From a browse of the reviews, it seems like it’s not just the green stuff that’s pressing people’s buttons – they also like the “non-minimalist” decor (like the bedspread in the pic), the views, and the cupcake shop in the lobby...."

To read the full post please click here

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Government Agency backs Battersea Power Station redevelopment

Battersea Power Station is an iconic London landmark. The famous cream coloured chimneys, dramatically erupting out of the station’s striking Art Deco brickwork, are as integral to the London skyline as Nelson’s Column or Tower Bridge. But ever since it stopped producing electricity in 1983, the power station has gradually descended into a sorry state of decay.

Proposals for the redevelopment of Europe's largest brick building have come and gone but now it appears as if a realistic proposal for development may finally get full approval as the latest plans have today received the backing of the government's architecture and design agency, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment ("CABE").

The mixed use development, if approved, will include over 3,000 homes, 1.6m sq ft of offices, 700,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, and a zero-carbon power station and could create 15,000 jobs. The developer’s intention to transform the site into a “cultural hub for London” is in keeping with our own aims here at Hotel Rafayel and, if realised, would further enhance Battersea’s position as “London’s new Left Bank”.

CABE has praised the "intelligent and well-resolved" design. Wandsworth Council is expected to make its decision on the proposal in July.

Hotel Rafayel will be watching with keen interest!

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Hotel Rafayel Thanks You

At Hotel Rafayel the comfort and pleasure of our guests is our primary concern. We strive to ensure that all of our guests and visitors have the most enjoyable experience possible. We are therefore delighted to have received so many positive reviews from our patrons.

This is the "User Generated" era -- published reviews are no longer the exclusive domain of journalists and official reviewers. Indeed, many web surfers are inclined to rely more upon the views of their peers than those of an individual newspaper or magazine reviewer.

We at Hotel Rafayel are therefore delighted to have received 91% positive reviews on the leading hotel review site, Tripadvisor. Although we have only been open for a few weeks, Tripadvisor (as of 20th February 2010) has already ranked Hotel Rafayel as the 36th highest ranking hotel out of 1,071 London hotels and the 6th highest ranking business hotel! This is only the start.

Of course, although we are extremely pleased with our reception thus far, we will never be complacent and, as we continue to rise through the rankings, we will strive always to improve and perfect.

Now, however, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our guests for their kindness and their support and encouragement.

Reviews of Hotel Rafayel on Tripadvisor may be read here.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Cosmetic News Portal on Neom's Partnership with Rafayel

NEOM launches body wash and lotion travel package

"NEOM have transformed their body care into travel sized products alongside the launch of their new Shampoo and Conditioner, for the complete travel beauty package.

"Using their best selling scent, Real Luxury, the NEOM Hotel Range consists of a Body Wash and Lotion, Shampoo and Conditioner...

"The Hotel Range products are 250ml and the range is currently exclusive to Hotel Rafayel on Battersea’s new Left Bank - set to be one of the world’s first ‘green’ hotels. Walk into an oasis of calm and luxury as the Real Luxury Candles burn into reception or try them for yourself by buying selected products in the range, on sale at the reception.

"Nicola Elliott, Founder of NEOM says, "We are thrilled to be launching NEOM Luxury Organics Hotel Amenities in 2010 with Hotel Rafayal. We’ve had lots of beautiful boutique hotels asking us to do something special to treat their guests and finally we have an organic range that really works and smells divine on men and women alike. As all hoteliers know, it’s the little touches that count, but now they can choose something far superior at a great price, and sell some of the full size gifts in their reception. There is also organic professional oils for in-house massages – perfect!"

"Imelda Burke, Spa Manager says "At Hotel Rafayel one of our major concerns is the reduction of surplus consumption. Along with our commitment to the introduction of electronic newspapers, the removal of plastic water bottles and the reduction of the hotel’s overall carbon emission, we also seek to provide an eco-conscious solution to various other hotel amenities. One of the ways in which we have been able to address this issue without minimizing the hotel’s luxury, five star status, has been to target the extravagant use of the small plastic items that are ubiquitous in hotel bathrooms. We have replaced individual 30ml plastic bottles with large 250ml dispensers that are refilled on a daily basis rather than discarded each day, dramatically reducing the plastic consumption of each guest."

"We also provide a range of organic and natural products which had been formulated with not only the health of the guest in mind but also the planet. We are delighted that the UK brand NEOM Luxury Organics has been able to meet all of our requirements and we are excited to be the first hotel to provide guests with the luxury of the NEOM Luxury Organic range in every room, setting a new standard for hotel amenities...."

Full article HERE

Monday, 15 February 2010

*Qype Does London - Interview with Hotel Rafayel

*Qype Does London - Interview with Hotel Rafayel

by inspiration junkie

"As eco-friendly meets eco-cation, Qype discovers the new kid on the luxury accommodation block, with an exclusive interview with manager Tibor Kiss.

"Qype: What is an eco-friendly hotel, why will this concept prove popular in London?

"TB: As Copenhagen’s Climate Change Conference stalls, the world’s most advanced five-star green hotel launches in London. Perhaps the world’s leaders should have met at Hotel Rafayel? Ike Latif, a committed believer in green technology and environmental well-being, strongly believes that the procedures implemented by his hotel could help change the standard of five-star hotels around the world...

"Qype: What makes Hotel Rafayel such a unique venue in comparison to its luxury counterparts?

"TB: The hotel interiors are focused on the guest experience and have been designed to create luxury through the creation of large spaces, and use of rich heavy materials. The rooms are large, up to 700 sqft with the average room being 350 sqft. The room ‘plug and play’ technology allows compatibility with a wide range of media devices from laptops to Ipods and even gaming consoles. Once plugged in, these devices play through the room TV and inbuilt audio system, making the rooms ideal for business and play. Seven river suites feature jet lag recovery, a Philips technology integrated into the design by LATIS; this is a hotel industry first and offers a unique experience for the guest....

Read the full article here

Sunday, 14 February 2010 Review of Hotel Rafayel

The respected travel trade group, TTG, have published their review of Hotel Rafayel in their Luxury travel section:

London's first eco-luxury hotel? by Philippa Jacks

"...Hotel Rafayel, which had a soft opening in December, is described on its website as “one of the world’s first environmentally-conscious luxury hotels". Rather a bold claim, but the measures taken to ensure this new hotel has a minimal carbon footprint are impressive...

"But Hotel Rafayel has not splurged on green technology at the expense of style and quality. Colour schemes are sophisticated and moody, with luxurious fabrics, heaps of throw-cushions, and beautiful sculptures scattered throughout the property...

"The Asian-inspired Banyan on the Thames restaurant was exceptional. I enjoyed delicious Cromer crab with mango, and 'Mongolian warrior's lamb' and very slick and friendly service. Breakfast in the small brasserie was also impressive, with a tasty spread of fresh-baked bread, fruits, meats and cheeses plus an extensive menu of cooked items. I loved Mychelle's Baketique, an onsite bakery with irrisistable displays of cupcakes in all sizes, colours and flavours.

"The gym features top-notch equipment and there's also a sauna, steam room and hydrotherapy pool. In lieu of a swimming pool, there's a swimming machine with an adjustable current. The spa stocks organic and vegan Ama La and Neom products and the therapist include one trained acupuncturist and a nutritionist too..."

To read the full article please click HERE

Friday, 12 February 2010

Chelsea Physic Garden - Winter Opening this weekend 13-14 February

Close by Hotel Rafayel on the Left Bank, on the Chelsea riverbank opposite Battersea Park, stands the ancient Chelsea Physic Garden. Founded by the Society of Apothecaries in 1673 in order to promote the study of botany in relation to medicine,the Chelsea Physic Garden is the second oldest botanic garden in England. Today it continues to fulfil the traditional functions of scientific research and plant conservation, which deals in part with holistic and complementary health medicine.

The Garden is a hidden gem, a "secret walled garden" in the heart of London and will be open to the public in a special "winter opening" this weekend, February 13-14. So if you are staying at Hotel Rafayel and are considering something different for a Valentine's excursion, why not visit the Chelsea Physic Garden.

Breakfast, brunch, warming stew and mulled wine will be served by the café. Free guided tours will highlight winter-flowering shrubs and the shop will be selling unusual plants and, of course, snowdrops. Visitors can also view a special collection of spring-flowering bulbs.

Venue: Chelsea Physic Garden
Address: 66 Royal Hospital Garden, SW3 4HS
Phone: 020 7352 5646
Date: 13th & 14th February 2010
Time: Sat & Sun 10am-4pm
Pricing: £8 (Adults inc Senior Citizens), £5 (Children 5-15, Students & Unemployed), FREE (Under 5s)

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Big Hospitality cites Hotel Rafayel in its Sustainability Week articles

Hotel Rafayel is delighted that its dedication to sustainability has caught the attention of Big Hospitality, one of the leading publications in the hospitality industry.

Ten Ways to Run Your Business More Sustainably

"This week BigHospitality has been behind the scenes at eight restaurants, hotels and pubs to find out what they've been doing to make their businesses more sustainable. We've put together what we've learnt from their owners with other information to form our top 10 tips to help make your business greener, leaner and more ethical."

"1. Offer tap or filtered water as a default

"Offering free tap water to customers or charging a small amount for filtered water cuts carbon emissions involved in transporting bottled water from its source and cuts waste associated with empty plastic and glass bottles. As well as tap water, JoJo's restaurant in Whitstable is offering filtered tap at its new premises, charging £1 per jug, with unlimited refills, to cover costs. At Hotel Rafayel in Battersea the only water available is filtered tap water in branded re-fillable glass bottles. If you must offer bottled, stock a brand whose profits fund clean water projects globally.

"2. Reduce, sort and recycle waste

"The more waste a company produces, the more it will inevitably cost them in disposal charges and makes its overall carbon footprint larger. Source suppliers who don't use excess packaging to reduce the amount of waste coming in, or cut some services out completely. Hotel Rafayel avoids sending an estimated 250,000 plastic bottles to landfill by not offering complimentary bottled mineral water, or selling it in the bar or restaurant. If you do create waste, sort it first to cut costs."

Full article available HERE

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Neom Organics at Hotel Rafayel

The Cool Collector reports on the launch of Neom Organic products at Hotel Rafayel:

"I’m a huge fan of Neom Organics (formerly Natural Magic), a fab UK organic brand that has come on leaps and bounds since it launched with its organic candle range.

"The brand is now a fully fledged skin-care producer too, with a delish range of products that smell good enough to eat and are kind to mind, body, soul and mother earth.

"Neom has now launched a range of mini-travel/hotel products for the organically minded traveller.

"The new hotel range consists of a Body Wash and Lotion, Shampoo and Conditioner.

"The Body Wash and Shampoo is packed with an organic mix of soothing Aloe Leaf Juice, Chamomile Flower and Apricot Fruit Extract for soft skin.
The Body Lotion nourishes and smoothes your skin with a blend of Rosemary Leaf, Grapeseed Oil and vitamin A and E packed Macadamia Nut Oil.
The Conditioner contains Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Lemon, Mandarin and Bergamot to deeply nourish, soften, detangle and restore hair’s natural lustre.

"Neom;s hotel range of products are 250ml and the range is currently exclusive to Hotel Rafayel on Battersea’s new Left Bank (London, UK), this swanky hotel aims to be one of the world’s first ‘green’ hotels so the Neom range compliments this endeavor perfectly.

"Another great home-grown brand which is not unsimilar to Neom is Nadur Organics, they too produce gorgeous organic candles which are handmade in Ireland.


Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Vivreau invited to stay at Hotel Rafayel

by Rachel Delahaye of

"Visitors to London can now treat themselves to luxury hotel accommodation and refreshment with a conscience. The newly opened Hotel Rafayel on the Left Bank overlooking the Thames in Battersea aims to slash the carbon footprint of each guest to a quarter of the typical London hotel stay, in part by reducing what they call the ‘water miles’ created in providing their hydration needs.

"To help them with their eco goals, Hotel Rafayel has enlisted the assistance of Vivreau, a manufacturer of mains-fed bottled water systems. It’s estimated that the Vivreau table water bottling system – an alternative to pre-bottled still and sparkling mineral waters – will allow Hotel Rafayel to eliminate 432 tonnes of delivered bottled water over five years, in addition to a further 205 tonnes of glass bottle waste for disposal. This is based on a requirement of 250 litres per day, 1,750 litres per week, or 292 cases per week, which invariably will free up fridge and storage space as well as address waste and carbon emissions.

"Vivreau drinking water systems dispense purified and filtered mains water and, acccording to a Vivreau spokesperson, this equates to a carbon footprint close to that of mains water as the need for carbon intensive packaging and transportation associated with pre-bottled waters is eliminated."

Source: Vivreau Pure Water